How Did Kamloops, British Columbia, Get Its Name?


Quick Answer

Kamloops, British Columbia got its name from the First Nations people who first inhabited the area, and who used it as a meeting place for trade. The name Kamloops comes from the Secwepemc word "Tk'emlups," which means "meeting place" or "where the rivers meet." Descendants of the original First Nations inhabitants still live in and around Kamloops, as of 2015.

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Full Answer

Because Kamloops is situated where the North and South Thompson Rivers meet to form the Thompson River, it was a convenient spot for the 30 or so semi-nomadic bands of First Nations people who lived in the Thompson Valley to meet to trade pelts. Beginning in 1811, it was used as a trading post to trade fur and traps with European fur traders, and then to trade with gold prospectors in the late 1850s, and finally with railway workers when the Canadian Pacific Railway came to the area in 1883. The arrival of the railroad brought with it such things as schools, churches and hospitals which cemented Kamloops as an established town. It was incorporated in 1893.

As of 2015, Kamloops is still considered a major north-south hub and is one of only two places in Canada where two railroads, the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian National Railway, intersect within a city limits.

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